Here’s a sad and harsh reality: Filipinos who have the means to travel for leisure would rather hop in a plane and go to some foreign country. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have anything against other countries. In fact, I myself have travelled out of the country numerous times already. What can I say? I have wanderlust in my blood.
For my part, though, what I’m trying to say is, I would much rather make plans to travel within the Philippines before I make plans to travel out of it. There’s so much that the Philippines has to offer, a lifetime may not be enough to explore its every nook and cranny.
I will try to visit and write about “the roads less traveled” in the Philippines, but for now, this post is about two must-visit wonders in Tanay, Rizal. I’m talking about Daranak Falls and Calinawan Cave, which I visited with my cousin and a friend.
Tanay, Rizal is an oft-overlooked tourist destination, perhaps due to its proximity to the Metro. However, you’d be amazed at its many offerings, two of which are the above-mentioned.
Daranak Falls is actually considered one of Tanay’s flagship destinations. Many local and international movies have been shot there. It is nestled at the foot of Tanay Mountains, shrouded by natural vegetation, and set off by ponds and rivers that cascade through the lush foliage surrounding the 14-meter high falls.
Calinawan Cave, on the other hand, is one of Tanay’s best-kept secrets. This enormous cave system is composed of numerous chambers and multiple levels. Apparently, the cave served as the hideout of Filipino revolutionaries during WWII. Sadly, some of the rock formations inside the cave have been vandalized.
Getting to Daranak Falls and Calinawan Cave
If you’re familiar with Starmall in Mandaluyong, you’ll see that there is a station for passenger vans there. For 70Php, you can ride one bound for Tanay where you have the option to disembark at Tanay Church or at the final drop-off point, Tanay Supermarket. Otherwise, you may opt to ride a passenger jeep or UV/FX bound for Antipolo. Fare is between 30-40Php. Once you get off in Antipolo, you can ride a jeep to Tanay for about 20-30Php. Should you decide to get off at Tanay Supermarket, you need to hire a tricycle as your “get around” vehicle. Standard fare is 150Php, but it can be more, depending on the places you want to visit.
For our part, we rode a passenger jeep from Santolan, Pasig to Antipolo. Fare was 33Php/person. From Antipolo, we boarded another passenger jeep enroute to Tanay and paid 40Php per head. We traveled for about two hours and got off at Tanay Market. From there, we hired a tricycle for 400Php for six hours, and it took us to Daranak Falls, Calinawan Cave, and the lighthouse in Rizal.
Finally at Calinawan Cave
There was hardly any people at Calinawan Cave, which was a plus for us. We paid a 20Php entrance fee per person and 100Php for our guide. Actually, the 100Php was for the guide to walk us through the first two chambers of the cave, which were the easiest to get into. For the succeeding chambers, you would need to give the guide a tip. According to our guide, the third to fifth chambers would be muddy and wet. The path would be easy, but you would have to crawl through crevices to get inside the chambers. We gave our guide a little extra money for the extra caves.
For the Calinawan Cave trek, I would suggest you bring a headlamp, waterproof bag, change of clothes, and a towel. To take better pictures, it would also be a good idea to bring a flashlight, since it’s dark inside the caves.
Refreshing Daranak Falls
After our Calinawan Cave adventure, we headed to Daranak Falls. We paid 20Php per head for the entrance (it’s 15Php per head for children). Picnic sheds may be rented for 300Php, and since we brought our own food, we rented one so we could eat. Alternatively, picnic tables were available for 150Php. Rubber tubings can be rented for 50Php.
Like Calinawan Cave, Daranak wasn’t too crowded that day. Our guide did say that it could be packed, especially during weekends, when families troop to the falls for a picnic. There’s a special part where you can jump off straight into the waters, and you can climb the side of the waterfalls, too. My companions and I enjoyed a quiet “Jacuzzi time” downstream and bonded by the river rather than visit the nearby falls.
Our last stop for our day trip was the “parola” or lighthouse. It was a bit windy, but the climb to the lighthouse was worth it. Our hired driver was offering to take us to the windmills, but my cousin had a commitment for dinner, so we had to make headway for home (the trip home would take us about two hours).
If you decide to visit Tanay and you have plenty of time in your hands, make sure to visit the following:
- Daranak Falls
- Batlag Falls
- Calinawan Cave
- Parola Lighthouse
- San Ildefonso Parish Church
- Kay-ibon Falls
- Tinipak Rock and Spring
- Regina RICA
- Mount Daraitan
- Mount Batolusong
- Masungi Rock Formation
- Wawa Dam
- Grotto of Lady of Rawang
For our part, the last place we visited before heading home was San Ildefonso Parish Church, and I can honestly say we saved the best for last.
32 thoughts on “Day trip in Tanay Rizal – Daranak Falls and Calinawan Cave”
I never knew about this!!! I am going to take my kids here as soon as I can! Thank you so much for this post and I bookmarked it for reference when I am ready to go. It’s not that far, I figured an hour plus of driving time one way.
OMG this place is amazing, I wish I could go too some day! The pic of the falls is spectacular!
Hi..i have never heard of these places so its an eye opener for me .thanks for introducing these places to me ☺
Nice pics and place looks adventurous…Yeah people have the habit of visiting outside countries before checking out beautiful places inside own country..But there is nothing wrong it ..Is everyone’s choice and wish to travel wherever they want as long as there is fun and happiness 🙂 If ever I visit Philippines then this place will surely be on my list..Keep writing ..I like travel blogs that adds up to more travel knowledge.
Stunning is the first word that came to my mind after seeing the images shared here…
Exploring one’s native country is always so pleasurable. I am sure your day trip details will encourage many to visit these caves
So jealous you are living out my dream .this is what I want to do once I finish with college wonder around place like this .
The place is surreal. Such beautiful pictures you have shared.
Wow! Daranak Falls and Calinawan Cave are both stunning! I do not recall visiting either places in my trips to the Philippines so I have to definitely put that in the bucket list!
Cool post and great photos!!! That place looks amazing, would love to go there some day!
Very detailed and informative post. I am bookmarking it to revisit as I make my travel plans
Daranak Falls looks stunning I can’t believe it is so underrated and your right we should make the effort to explore the country we live in too!
The cave looks nice but the waterfall… the waterfall is the best! I would love to swim in that clear blue water, underneath it.
a LOT of great places to travel – and it looks like you had a BLAST doing it!
Wow , that lookslike paradise , these waterfalls are amazing . Great post , brilliant photos , thanks for sharing . There are so many beautiful places we would never get to see , if people wouldn’t blog about , places that aren’t crowded by tourism .
Wow, the photographs are stunning. Very nice!
I think its great that you’ve put importance on exploring your own country, its so easy to forget. 🙂 I’ve been reading so much about the Philippines, each recount with its own magic. I could never say no to a waterfall, I should start compiling a list!
Oh my goodness! What an absolutely amazing place! Isn’t it strange that we often seek places like this outside of our own back yard? I could see myself traveling there. Thanks for sharing!
Yay! Daranak Falls would be the first fall I am going to visit if ever our plans will push through.. we are plannin to visit Regina Rica next month and I will grab that opportunity to visit both Daranak and Batlag falls… is there a place nearby where you can rent life vest or even Salbabida?
This place looks beautiful. I have always had a facination with caves. I have not traveled far out of the United States but I enjoy traveling within the US. I have always wanted to see as much of the world as I can before I am not able to anymore.
Wow! This looks amazing! Those photos are really breath taking! Will add Tanay, Rizal on must-see places 😀
Wow that was a beautiful place!:) You gave me an idea on where to go on my next trip.
I’ve heard so much about this place! Daranak Falls is the place to go! Bookmarking this now! <3 Love your travels
Been hearing a lot of things about Daranak. Will probably go here next time!!! 🙂 Book marking 😀
Wow this looks amazing! I did something similar in New Zealand and loved it!
Karla! Those photos look amazing! My boyfriend and I were supposed to go here when we did Tinipak River but we didn’t have enough time. So gutted 🙁
That’s okay. When we went to Tinipak, we thought the same too but in the end, we made it separate trips. It’s worth it to go separately anyway. There are a lot to explore in this side too.
It was a weekend when we went to Rizal, and your guide was right, it can get packed in Daranak falls. We swam instead in Batlag falls where there was a lesser crowd.
We had the same day trip itinerary, except that we were able to proceed to the Pililla windmills at around sunset. That one was actually my favorite part of our tour. 🙂 Here’s our day trip, by the way:
Can kids also allowed to be brought inside Calinawan Cave?
Yes, there were children when we were there.
hi hello saw your blog po while searching for tours in tnay rizal, ask ko lng po kung meron lifejacket s daranak falls parang malalim po kc hehe thank you
Hi meron naman, meron din yung tire tubes so you can use that. Have fun during your visit.